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The birth of a child should be a joyous occasion that marks a wonderful new beginning for a new family. Unfortunately, a birth can quickly turn to a terrible tragedy for a family if there are complications during the process of labor and delivery. Both mother and baby are at significant risk when a medical provider fails to live up to his basic obligations of providing professional care. baby 1

When either mother or baby is harmed during labor and delivery, an Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer should be consulted for help. Damages in birth injury cases are often very significant because the injuries are often serious and because both a mother and baby are young and have many years of life left to incur medical costs and experience pain when something goes wrong.

Birth Injury Cases Often Result in Large Malpractice Damages recently reported on one sad malpractice case in which a woman suffered a massive stroke shortly after giving birth. The woman was unable to hold her daughter for around a year after the birth due to the damage the stroke caused.

The young mother was in a medically-induced coma for two months following her stroke and even today she remains paralyzed on her right side. She requires twice-daily visits from caregivers, and had to undergo intensive physical and speech therapy in order to regain any of the basic functions that she can now do like speaking and caring for herself.

The stroke occurred because she was suffering from a brain injury. The brain injury had been diagnosed shortly after she ran the Boston Marathon in 2004 when she began experiencing dizzy spells.  A CAT scan and MRI diagnosed her condition and she should have been placed on a list of people with serious medical problems.  She was never placed on this list, which was standard protocol, and her obstetrician was not aware of the serious medical problems she faced.

As a result, the obstetrician delivered the patient’s daughter naturally instead of scheduling a cesarean section which the patient should have had. If the patient had undergone a c-section, the stroke would not have occurred and she would not have experienced her life-changing impairments.

The jury determined that the plaintiff had proved her medical malpractice birth injury case and was entitled to compensation or her losses. She was awarded $35.4 million in damages. The damages were, in part, intended to cover the costs of medical expenses which currently exceed $200,000 each year.

The case is not an unusual one, as many people who are harmed while having babies face permanent impairment that prevents work and that necessitates costly ongoing care for the rest of a patient’s life.  Victims need to ensure they understand the full extent of their losses and should get help from a caring and experienced attorney in trying to obtain full compensation for the tremendous damage they face.

The Atlanta medical malpractice lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after an injury caused during labor and delivery. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 

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When abuse or negligence occurs in a nursing home, the hope is that someone will report it. This could be a staff member, a family member of a patient, or the patient himself.  When the abuse is reported, steps can be taken to correct the problem and ensure that other residents are safe from harm.  Protocols can be changed to resolve problems that lead to abuse or neglect and the vulnerable residents of the nursing home can be protected. memories-252799-m

Unfortunately, top managers and even owners of nursing homes have an incentive not to report abuse, but to cover it up., for example, recently reported that the owner of one nursing home as well as several top managers of the nursing facility were indicted and faced multiple criminal charges for covering up instances of abuse or neglect.

An Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyer can provide assistance to residents and family members when abuse occurs. Nursing home abuse cases can make nursing home companies, owners, and executives responsible for the harm that their actions cause.  When a nursing home abuse case results in a large verdict for the plaintiff, the verdict can also send a message to other facilities that abuse is never acceptable.  This is an important part of preventing future abuse because the risk of a lawsuit can change the incentives for managers and executives.

Why Do Nursing Home Executives Have Incentive to Cover Up Atlanta Nursing Home Abuse?

Nursing home owners and managers have incentive to cover up abuse and neglect because the nursing home facility can be held accountable even when staff members are the ones who perpetrate the wrongful behavior or when staff members fail to meet the reasonable needs of patients.

When nursing home staff makes mistakes or engages in abusive behavior while performing work duties, it is often the nursing home facility that is sued and not the individual staff member. This makes sense because the home has more insurance and the company has more money than the staff members.  Unfortunately, it means that executives may try to cover up the abuse to protect the home from financial loss.

In the Syracuse case, for example, the owners and managers went so far as to destroy electronic records and other evidence of the instances of abuse and neglect. In that particular case, the problems involved a serious medication error as well as the sexual abuse of a nursing home resident in a dining room that was not properly supervised.  The coverup ultimately came out in an interview with nursing home staff members, which the home owner illegally eavesdropped on.

When abuse or neglect occurs, the incentive of those in charge should be to bring the incident to light, compensate the victims, and correct the conditions that led to the abuse. Only when nursing home executives have to face serious penalties for not coming forward will this be the case.  The criminal charges are a good step towards ensuring accountability, and civil cases can also ensure that the nursing home is held financially responsible for losses due to the home’s failures.

The Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after an injury caused by a negligent nursing home. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 

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Whiplash is one of the most common injuries that occurs in motor vehicle accidents, and especially rear-end crashes. Many victims of whiplash accidents face difficulty recovering the compensation that they need and deserve because there are no conclusive medical tests that can show the extent of injuries caused by whiplash. An Atlanta rear end accident lawyer can provide help to clients who have been victims of a crash that caused whiplash. Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. will fight to help you show that you were badly hurt by the accident and that the whiplash is affecting your life. medical-709366-m

Although you can successfully make a whiplash claim, having a test to identify whiplash would go a long way towards making these types of cases easier. Fortunately, Physical Therapy Products reports that researchers have identified a new approach to identifying which whiplash sufferers will develop disability, chronic pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If this new approach becomes standard, car accident victims should have a much easier time showing insurance companies and juries that they are entitled to extensive damages after a crash that causes whiplash. Continue reading →

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For plaintiffs who are victims of a medical error, filing a malpractice claim can result in an award of monetary compensation.  A plaintiff has the burden of proving a doctor fell short in the care provided, which can be a challenge.  Juries often don’t understand the specific professional obligations of doctors, and doctors can put up their own expert witnesses to testify that the care they offered was fine.  The challenges in demonstrating that a doctor failed to fulfill his professional duty is one reason why it is very important for plaintiffs in malpractice cases to be represented by experienced Atlanta malpractice lawyersnurse-1-1158314-m

In some malpractice claims, doctors actually violated federal guidelines or safety standards. When this happens, it can make it easier for those who have been harmed by the medical errors to prove negligence. Now, however, a new proposed bill would aim to curtail this practice to a certain extent and limit the kinds of evidence plaintiffs can use to prove a doctor’s actions fell below the standard of care. Continue reading →

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The job of a Medicaid fraud investigator is to try to identify health care providers who are improperly taking money from the Medicaid system. Medicaid is a form of health insurance for lower income people, so a lot of Medicaid fraud involves things like billing for health services that were not provided or billing too much for treatments that were offered. detective-desktop-558786-m

However, Medicaid has also become one of the primary payers of nursing home care. Nursing homes are extremely costly and many seniors cannot afford these facilities on their own so instead end up relying on Medicaid to pay the bills. Because Medicaid pays for nursing home care for a large percentage of nursing home residents, fraud investigators can work not only to identify situations where the government is losing money, but also situations where nursing home residents are being mistreated. Continue reading →

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Motor vehicle defects have been a big problem over the past few years, with GM recalling more vehicles in 2014 than it sold in five years and Takata recalling more than 17 million vehicles because of air bag problems that could kill or injure occupants. One disturbing trend that has been present in many of the recall situations is that there is often evidence to suggest that the product manufacturer knew of problems well before the defects were announced to the public. These vehicle defects have caused deaths, but manufacturers kept quiet and didn’t alert the public for years. us-currency-4-1007270-m

One way to potentially solve this issue is to create greater rewards for people working at auto parts manufacturers and car companies if they come forward and report wrongdoing. To that end, the federal government is moving forward on putting whistleblower incentives into place. Whistleblower incentives  have been tremendously effective at getting employees to come forward and report when the government is being defrauded of money. Hopefully, incentives to auto workers could have a similar effect at getting workers to come forward and reveal public safety issues. Continue reading →

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Nursing home abuse is on the rise in Georgia.  As reports, the Georgia Counsel on Aging indicates that there has been a 65 percent increase in reported nursing home abuse between 2008 and 2012.  The problem is likely to only grow worse as the population ages.  By 2050, as many as 20 percent of the total U.S. population will be 65 and up. Many of these seniors are going to be cared for by low-paid and untrained workers in nursing home facilities that are overcrowded and understaffed. court decision gavel arbitration

Lawmakers in Georgia are trying to address the problem and provide more protections for seniors in nursing home facilities.   Northwest Georgia News reported on GA House Bill 72, which is designed to tighten elder abuse laws, close loopholes in existing regulation, and boost the tools that law enforcement officers have to fight elder abuse crimes.  If this bill passes, it could make a significant difference in how patients are treated and in what happens when nursing homes fail in their duties. Continue reading →

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Medical malpractice has long been a hot-button issue as reformers routinely argue that limiting patient’s rights is one of the best ways to reduce healthcare costs. Tort reform advocates claim that the significant risk of lawsuits forces doctors to buy costly malpractice insurance. These expenses are then passed on to consumers in the form of higher healthcare costs.  Arguments are also made that doctors order more testing in order to reduce the risk of a lawsuit, which in turn drives costs up even further. hospital-corridor-2-65904-m

While these theories have largely been debunked, there are still efforts being made to curtail the rights of injured patients to sue doctors.  For example, as reports, Georgia is currently considering legislation to overhaul the malpractice system despite fierce opposition from consumer advocates and questions about whether the proposed plan is even constitutional. Continue reading →

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Efforts to prevent truck collision often center around controlling the behavior of truck drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has imposed numerous requirements for licensing of truckers and has imposed strict limitations on the amount of time truckers can drive per week. While preventing drivers from unsafe actions is very important, drive behavior is not the only cause of truck collisions. truck

Inadequate truck maintenance and unsafe vehicles are also a major problem within the United States. The FMCSA does have requirements in place to ensure trucks are roadworthy, but it is difficult to enforce these regulations and a huge number of big rigs on the road are not actually safe to drive. When a truck crash occurs because of problems with the vehicle, an Atlanta personal injury lawyer can help victims or their family members to take appropriate legal action. Continue reading →

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Most people make New Year’s resolutions around this time of year as they look forward to what they hope will be a great future. One of the most common resolutions that people make is to start exercising or to be better about their exercise routine. elliptical-trainers-489121-m

While working out should be good for you, sometimes it presents unexpected risks to your safety. This is true both if a gym fails to adequately maintain its premises and if gym equipment has design flaws. If you suffer an injury as a result of a failure of a gym or equipment manufacturer to live up to basic safety obligations, you should contact an Atlanta injury lawyer for help understanding your legal options. Continue reading →